back to article Take this $715,000 and find security gaps in quantum computers, says NSF

America's National Science Foundation has signaled yet again how important it thinks quantum computing is with a six-figure grant to Penn State.  The $715,000 grant is heading to Swaroop Ghosh, associate professor at Penn State School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. Ghosh plans to use the funding to close gaps …

  1. W.S.Gosset Silver badge

    "Yes, the ones that don't exist yet"

    What a great job. You could just shoot off a list of standard security issues, and when they come back boiling with rage saying this or that can't _possibly_ affect quantum computers, you can just say "Ah! We must be in the wrong world for that one. Looks like Everett was right, eh?"

    Might have to stand back a bit while they do their impression of a steam whistle. But that's about all they can do about it. You could prolong it if you're that way inclined by sympathetically offering: "Poor ol' Bohr must be spinning in his grave. Tsk tsk. 'Course, we won't know till we open it."

    There's the house-extension sorted.

    1. Pete 2 Silver badge

      Was Bohr a fermion or a boson?

      > "Poor ol' Bohr must be spinning in his grave.

      ... we should be told, in order to know whether he has an integer spin (boson) or a fractional one that would mean he was a fermion.

      1. zuckzuckgo Bronze badge

        Re: Was Bohr a fermion or a boson?

        But is he a righty or a lefty? One must know if he has the politically correct chirality.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Was Bohr a fermion or a boson?

        Depends on the observer, a fellow dead ghost spinning the same way in the same local field thinks Bohr is stationary. Whereas a ghost spinning at n=2 for every n=m spins of 'dead Bohr', might observe a half spinning Bohr-ghost.

        Perhaps if they filter for some properties of the various observer ghosts, ensuring they are the equal, then miraculously all the other observed properties will be the same. Some sort of "SPOOKY* entanglement effect".

        * Yeh, it was a long walk for a bad pun

    2. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: "Yes, the ones that don't exist yet"

      TBF you can simulate them fairly easily (if slowly) so its a matter of chucking shit at the simulator and seeing what you can bugger up with it.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Keep chucking money at it

    Although there isn't a single quantum computer – that we know of – in the world capable of breaking encryption in general use today

    and never will be.

    1. Blackjack Silver badge

      Re: Keep chucking money at it

      Why bother when passwords and data get leaked all the time anyway?

      Or when Americans keep insisting in still using Social Security Numbers?

      Or when two factor uses SMS?

      Or.... wow someone could write a book about this with how long the list of examples is.

  3. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    In Praise of the Geese that Lay Gold Jewel Encrusted Fabergé Eggs .....

    Take this $715,000 and find security gaps in quantum computers, says NSF

    Whereas being granted $715,000 to find security gaps in quantum computers may be easy money, methinks not even $715bn will help to block them.

    Notwithstanding that though, such would be a very wise and necessary investment in order to make and take a more full and practically exclusive advantage of the benefits available and resultant from their future use exploiting and expanding upon the security gaps ...... which to some are just as vulnerable opportunities to tend to and harvest/nurture and mine.

    Some gaps which can’t be blocked are portals.

  4. Spherical Cow

    It's beginning to sound familiar...

    ...almost as if quantum computers and fusion reactors have some things in common? They work in theory, we've built some small-but-useless proofs-of-concept, but bigger more useful ones are always several years away. Having said that, I would be very happy to be proved wrong and see either one (or better still both) become reality soon.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: It's beginning to sound familiar...

      Thing is, something like a working quantum computer could be such a strategic advantage as to render it "black" my most governments, meaning no one will acknowledge it if it really exists. Thus the perceived overabundance of caution: because there's a chance a country, even the US itself, has a working quantum computer but is keeping it under wraps while happily chugging away at all the historical encrypted data that's hanging around out there.

    2. captain veg Silver badge

      Re: It's beginning to sound familiar...

      I'm not sure. In principle it's uncertain.

      -A.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It's beginning to sound familiar...

      The sun is there, about half of every day, fusing away, without which we would not be here. My question is - is there anything comparable in the relation between quantum computing and natural life? Of course the universe as we know it wouldn't be what it if the laws of physics weren't what they are - but is there actually any life process evolved to take advantage of quantum-processing like effects? It is impossible to prove the negative, but there is also a current lack of obvious positive examples.

      Of course there are also no known biological neural processes incorporating silicon and transistors, but there are biological analogues, and given enough time there will be hybrids, QC not a prerequisite.

      1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

        Re: It's beginning to sound familiar...

        I think very little about quantum physics is natural. So the universe just is.Which includes sometimes breaking the laws of physics. Kinda handy really because once we've figured out the Theory of Everything, what next? Plus it gives me headaches because I've been reading about quantum vacuums. Nice theory, rather hard to create though.

      2. captain veg Silver badge

        Re: It's beginning to sound familiar...

        Quantum biology is an actual thing.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bgh118HTVg8

        -A.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It's beginning to sound familiar...

      Perhaps we could increase the power of our current useless proof-of-concept quantum computers if we could figure out how to power them with dark energy?

      I smell a research grant request...

      (sorry, not really a hater, just making a sideways joke)

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hacking Quantum Computers

    Requires Quantum Solutions.

    Time travel is the biggest threat to Quantum Computing.

    1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

      Re: Hacking Quantum Computers

      I think the biggest snags could come from unauthorised entanglement. Quantum computers get fired up around the world, researchers discover they're all running Crysis. I reject your local reality and substitute my own.

      1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

        Re: Hacking Quantum Computers

        I think the biggest snags could come from unauthorised entanglement. Quantum computers get fired up around the world, researchers discover they're all running Crysis. I reject your local reality and substitute my own. .... Jellied Eel

        Surely that sort of entanglement .... I reject your local reality and substitute my own. ..... is the same type of authorised script that mainstream media channels currently present to the masses as realities to believe are not contrived and man-made in service of some obscure and uncommunicated goal/final solution from/for an anonymous few/elite cabals/terrorising and terrified cells, so it will not be that, given the colossal changes and progress that quantum computer communications can so simply deliver and defend.

        1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

          Re: Hacking Quantum Computers

          Oh .... and furthermore, because of that which is revealed in the above paragraph, will the colossal changes and progress that quantum computer communications can so simply deliver and defend, not be ideally presented by mainstream media channels commanded and controlled by a relatively anonymous few/elite cabals/terrorising and terrified cells, although that will not result in them not being directly targeted and impacted by both novel under-reported and unreported NEUKlearer HyperRadioproACTive IT events*

          It will reign and improve and strengthen its development powers in more than just deep and dark matter energies also relatively anonymously and autonomously unhindered and unchallenged in what is popularly known to many as the Underground, where in many recent pasts, alternative reality options have been explored and live betatested.

          * Such strange events you may or may not later discover to be quasi officially sanctioned in polyamorous support and amoral recognition of TS/SCI type Alien Shenanigans because there are no possible defence or attack vectors to prevent or redirect them against their own wishes, with the best that can be humanly achieved being a Mutually Beneficial Parallel JOINT AIdVenture. And to some, who may be many, will all of that be imagined and dismissed as pure unbridled delusional conjecture, whereas for A.N.Others, who may be more than just a few, is it proof positive of the stealthy success of recent deep and dark webbed mattered events in alien development/special operations.

          And notwithstanding all or any of that, surely you still are not expecting the future to be anything like the present and the past whenever you all have all this new technology at your beck and call for absolute command and remote virtual control? That would to be tantamount to admitting to a certain madness, for nothing alive ever remains the same as it is or once was. Everything changes and grows and/or dies ...... goes back to black.?

          1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

            Re: Hacking Quantum Computers

            And if you don't believe the mainstream media are not in the business of providing new truthful stories, preferring instead to trail all manner of corrupt and perverse fancifully tales in service of established traditional shadowy and shady invested interests, here is some "proof" of their blatant wrongdoings, ... https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/while-you-werent-paying-attention-hunter-biden-laptop-story-turned-out-be-true-zero-media ..... and that is only the tip of the titanic iceberg afloating to sink a great many ships whenever the tales that have been told in the past do not pass clear forensic scrutiny in the future ...... and which only needs a whistleblower or two or three to share what they know to be honestly true, to speed things along and clear the future of that which is definitely no longer required or trusted.

            Or maybe you think all of that is fake news and false information? How very strange eh ..... that such polar opposite views might exist in the same space and be believed as unbelievable by some who haven't a clue about all of the shenanigans going on all of time around them.

            1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

              Re: Hacking Quantum Computers

              Yup.

              I can't remember who coined the phrase 'velocity of news', but like the universe, it seems to be accelerating. But the MSM is desperate to stay relevant, and weaponising 'fact checking' as part of the process. But that also highlights that they don't know the difference between fact, fiction or just opinion.

              The Grauniad has a story promoting a group called 'TyreExtenguishers' who think they're saving the planet by deflating SUV tires. That's probably an example of local reality following different laws, ie normally that would be criminal damage and incitement. Possibly not the best analogy for quantum theory, but demonstrates that 'laws' are variables, not constants.

              Biden thing seems more about trying to bury bad news, or I guess observer issues. If you don't see the laptop, it doesn't exist, and must be fake. Or possibly troubling. In a multiverse, there could be a Hunter who wasn't a crack head and could justify making money from Ukraine & China.

              But such is politics. I do have popcorn ready in case that one blows up, and the MSM wonders about conflicts of interest. Or that might be local reality again. Steele's dodgy dossier claimed Trump was a Russian stooge because they'd compromised him with hookers. But the Bidens filmed themselves doing that.

            2. Androgynous Cow Herd

              Re: Hacking Quantum Computers

              Please reduce your comment to one sentence.

              TIA

  6. sreynolds Silver badge

    But....

    Do the vulnerabilities have to be real or imaginary? Or can int be in a superposition of both real and imagined at the same time?

    1. W.S.Gosset Silver badge

      Re: But....

      Y2K says: "yes".

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